Why Rian Johnson Doesn't Mind Star Wars: The Last Jedi Criticisms

Mark Hamill in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

While Star Wars: The Last Jedi has started out with an incredible box office, once people see the film, they are having very different reactions to the material. Director Rian Johnson has a very honest take on those with such divisive views. Responding to a fan on Twitter who asked The Last Jedi director if he thought all the discussion was a good thing, Johnson responded that while upsetting people was never the goal, he believes the conversations that are now happening about Star Wars are necessary for the health of the franchise. According to Johnson

The goal is never to divide or make people upset, but I do think the conversations that are happening were going to have to happen at some point if sw is going to grow, move forward and stay vital.

Unfortunately, as Rian Johnson seems to realize, there's really no way to have the conversations he believes need to happen without potentially creating some division. Some people seem to love the direction that Star Wars: The Last Jedi went while others really don't. Not everybody who disliked The Last Jedi did so because of the way that familiar story and character tropes were subverted, but for many, that was the main issue. The Last Jedi is a very different Star Wars movie. There's really no arguing that point, it's just a question of whether or not that's a good thing.

Disney and Lucasfilm are planning to make Star Wars movies until, as far as we can tell, the heat death of the universe occurs. If that's the case, then Rian Johnson is absolutely right, Star Wars needs to grow. People can have a reasonable debate about how that needs to happen, and you can still agree with that premise and also feel that Rian Johnson's particular direction is the wrong one. The problem is that we're not having conversations. We're having screaming matches.

While Rian Johnson's goal was not to upset people, that's one place where things have clearly failed as people are quite upset. Star Wars fans at both extremes are angry. On one side, you have the people who think Rian Johnson has actively destroyed an entire franchise, while the other side thinks those people just don't "get it." There are people in the middle trying to have a conversation, but as per usual online, the extremes are drowning out the middle.

Of course, Rian Johnson wasn't trying to upset people. He clearly loves Star Wars and is a fan like the rest of us. He tried to make something good but also make something different as a way to put some new life in the brand. He wants to see Star Wars stay vital. He wants to go to Star Wars movies every year until the sun dies.

It's ok if you didn't like Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I didn't like most of the prequels and yet I'm still a fan of the franchise. There are going to be plenty of movies to come and hopefully, they'll continue to grow and change and some you'll like and some you may not but somebody else will. If nothing else there will be plenty to talk about.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.